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Owners unsure when Billings store will reopen, thank community for support

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BILLINGS - The owners of Big Bear Sports Center said Tuesday they are unsure when they will reopen their Billings store after the severe damage caused in nine-hour police standoff over the weekend.

In a statement released on Tuesday, owners Bob and Brett Taylor said they and employees are working to pick up the pieces after the early Saturday standoff, where a man bashed through the front door with an SUV and fired multiple rounds from store-owned guns at police.

It was the Taylors' first statements since the incident occurred.

The Taylors said they are not sure exactly when they will be able to reopen as they are still assessing the damage to both the interior and exterior of the store. Police said damage included damaged water and gas lines, the front entrance and bullet holes.

After nine hours, and gunfire back and forth, the man, identified as Frank Half Jr., was killed by Billings police officers, according to autopsy results released today.

Along with thanking all of the law enforcement agencies involved, the Taylors, who are father and son, also extended thanks to the community for their support in the aftermath, saying in part:

“We also owe the citizens of Billings and the surrounding communities a personal thank you. From our management, our employees and everyone that was affected by Saturday’s events, thank you. The outpouring of support has been incredible and we are grateful to call Billings home and the people that live here our neighbors. Your messages, comments, well wishes and thoughts have helped get us through the long days…With the help of our amazing employees, the support of our community and a little elbow grease; we’ll be back to business soon!”

Big Bear Sports Center has operated in Billings since 1959.

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